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  1. #1
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    Original Thread Title - Affiliate Insight Forum - Confusion/Disorganization?

    By request, I move the topic here. Matt, you can delete my post in the other thread to keep it on topic, in the wrong forum.

    What I posted in another thread. SEO discussion happening in the Affiliate Insight Forum, when we already have a SEO forum for that.

    Serious question, where is the line? I see mods starting threads in the wrong place. Tax thread in the new forum, later moved to the correct Tax Forum.

    You want highly relevant topics in the new forum. Those happen everywhere.

    We just had a big Google update. Let's look ahead, a big update that affects affiliates in the future from Google. Where does that go? Should go in the Search Engine Forum. But now will it go in the new Forum?

    Let's say something big happens with CJ, where?

    Forums are setup with different forums to stay organized. Now, you'll have more moving of threads, more work for mods, most people don't like threads, moved/edited, just had a recent case of that yesterday with somebody complaining about that. You'll have somebody reading a Google forum, wanting to start a topic, checking there to see if somebody already started a topic. They don't see one, start it. But maybe that conversation is already happening in the new forum. So the same conversation in more than one place? More work for the mods, merging?

    Just don't see how confusion and disorganization is a good thing? I haven't seen any clear lines on where to put things when there is an already existing forum to put it in.

    EDIT: From the original thread this conversation started in, I moved the following comment here to keep everything in one place. - I.M.O.G.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    SEO Discussion - ABestWeb Affiliate Marketing Forum

    Just to be clear, what is the SEO forum to be used for?

    There are threads like this there - http://www.abestweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=136569

    If it's a topic with a link elsewhere they go here like the one I just posted? And the forum is just for non linked to article SEO discussions?

    Yesterday there was a tax discussion happening in this forum, that was moved to the correct Tax forum.
    Last edited by I.M.O.G.; March 30th, 2011 at 03:59 PM.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust View Post
    SEO Discussion - ABestWeb Affiliate Marketing Forum

    Just to be clear, what is the SEO forum to be used for?

    There are threads like this there - http://www.abestweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=136569

    If it's a topic with a link elsewhere they go here like the one I just posted? And the forum is just for non linked to article SEO discussions?

    Yesterday there was a tax discussion happening in this forum, that was moved to the correct Tax forum.
    Relevant point - that is a challenge we have held some discussion over, and there is a framework we are developing as we go. We need to establish a clear approach and that will come in time as we gather a stronger consensus.

    While the Affiliate Industry Insight forum contains a mix of affiliate discussions that could fit into various specific subforums, it should yield an impression of various high relevance, high quality topics in a central location. The specific topic subforums are the core place to focus on specific topics and really get into the thick of the weeds.

    Affiliate Industry Insights - various topics with high relevance to affiliates, reasonable variation
    Specific Subforums - focussed on one specialty interest as always

    If 5 SEO topics get started here in a day, 4 of them should probably be moved to the SEO subforum. If in doubt, start your topic in the specific subforum you would typically start it in. When you feel inspired, feel free to add to the mix of high relevance affiliate discussions in the AII subforum. As a community along with the moderation staff, we'll work on making it work in a way that everyone likes and understands on some level.

    Rather than continually addressing questions like this within threads, please direct any further questions of this nature to the feedback section, or me directly. It is something we are aware of as a community and we are working on identifying the best balance - we will get there. Your example demonstrates we aren't there yet, and that is ok.

    EDIT: Thanks for breaking this out into its own thread.

    EDIT2: This is the sticky in the AII forum, its short and sweet, but gives a general idea of intent also:
    http://www.abestweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=143257
    Last edited by I.M.O.G.; March 30th, 2011 at 04:06 PM.
    Matt Bidinger
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  3. #3
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    "If 5 SEO topics get started here in a day, 4 of them should probably be moved to the SEO subforum."

    Or 5 seo topics -----> seo forum. That makes sense. And they shouldn't be moved there, they should be started there. It's just very basic forum architecture.

    Sometimes I like to login and read a specific forum. Maybe I want to check out what's happening with ebay. Now I have to check other forums as well. You already have confusion, threads in the wrong forum is disorganization. Doesn't really make sense to me but apparently you got "feedback" which doesn't exist in public (unless I'm missing the thread) that this is a good idea and wanted here. I very well could be in the minority in this, that's fine. Time will tell.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I.M.O.G. View Post
    Rather than continually addressing questions like this within threads, please direct any further questions of this nature to the feedback section, or me directly.
    I feel somewhat inhibited by this statement but since this thread is still open and my post is on topic, I'm going to respond here anyway.

    I agree with Trust on this. I run two forums and have learned that one of the more difficult tasks is to organize them in such a way that people know where to post. After much work they're still far from perfect. Forums must be organized topically and contextually to make appropriate posting easy AND browsing/searching fruitful. A visitor not familiar with an eccentric structure would find it difficult to dredge up the information they're looking for. In my opinion the name of the insight forum is cryptic and the bottom line is that it seems to be a "high quality" catchall forum.
    Last edited by Boom or Bust; March 30th, 2011 at 04:14 PM.



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  5. #5
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    I like the idea of the Industry Insight forum. I also understand the confusion that can arise from knowing where to look for something. As has come up before with forum redesigns and things like that, people use the forums in different ways. I tend to use New Posts, so what forum something isn't that big a deal for me. But that's me and not how everyone tends to use the forum. Personally, I didn't even notice what forum that thread was in. Without looking, it could have been in the SEO forum or Midnight Cafe.

    Anyway, I think a solution might be, with threads in the Industry Insight forum that also are highly relevant to another established forum, to do one of those thread redirect thingies (that's the highly technical name) so the thread title will show in the other forum and if clicked the user goes to the thread in the Insight forum. Been a long time since I've used the feature, but I think the copy/redirect thread title will also show the number of posts/views in the forum listing. Of course an Admin/Mod would have to do the copy/redirect (the OP can't do it themselves).

    I think people understanding what is and isn't appropriate for the Industry Insight forum will be the hardest part.

  6. #6
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I agree with Trust on this, too. (Finally, after all this time - something we agree on! <G>)

    If it fits elsewhere, that's where it should be. If it's a high level topic that would have gone in the Midnight Cafe, the new Affiliate Industry Insights forum is the place for it.

    Now if vBulletin ever comes up with a way to put a single thread (not just a redirect) in multiple forums, I'm all for including high level threads from the more specific forums in both places.
    Michael Coley
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  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
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    Yup, I get what you are saying and I understand your point. I agree with it from certain perspectives, though not entirely. Haiko expressed similar doubts, which we discussed and I understand very well. The way your questions are answered in practice will in part determine how this ultimately works out. I think we aren't entirely where we want to be with the AII forum right now, but it is an initial step in a good direction that will become more apparent over time.
    Matt Bidinger
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  8. #8
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    "If it's a high level topic that would have gone in the Midnight Cafe, the new Affiliate Industry Insights forum is the place for it."

    Which brings up another issue. So what's the Midnight Cafe for now? Medium level and low level topics? How do you differentiate a high level topic from a medium level topic?

    Wouldn't it just have been easier to clarify that forum and maybe the Virtual Family one as well?

    You have now this for the Midnight Cafe:
    "This is where any affiliate marketing discussions go if there's not a better place for them!"

    Maybe mention news in there somewhere, brainstorm it, find something else you can put there. That was always the general topic forum.

    You also have Virtual Family forum which is the off topic forum - birthdays, what's a good paper shredder, damn it's cold outside etc.

    Maybe just put the words off topic in there somewhere.

    Clarify what already exists?
    Last edited by Trust; March 30th, 2011 at 04:37 PM. Reason: put the word it between wouldn't and just, english teacher is already mad at me for my run on sentences

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boom or Bust View Post
    I feel somewhat inhibited by this statement but since this thread is still open and my post is on topic, I'm going to respond here anyway.
    That statement was made when Trust and my comments were in a separate thread. He then chose to move this line of communication to this thread, and I copied my original post over. Responding here is the place to be.
    Last edited by I.M.O.G.; March 30th, 2011 at 04:36 PM.
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  10. #10
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    Just my two-cents worth here..

    Seems to me the major issues facing the industry are related to Google (SEO), tax issues for US affiliates, unethical activity, PPC, and the various network issues. These are well represented in their respective forums.

    And what exactly is a "high level" topic..?

    I understand the need for a better set of catch-all forums as Midnight Cafe gets everything (which I actually like), but "high level"..? That makes it sound like the other discussions aren't intellectual enough.. there are plenty of high-quality & high-relevance discussions going on already.

    Important issues faced by affiliates can be quite basic... and those threads may get lost. This is just my opinion, I'm not engaging in a debate here.

    ps. Trust, I'm agreeing with you

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
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    It's possible we could do better...

    vBulletin has the ability to set any destination URL for a forum. Rather than starting threads in Affiliate Industry Insights, we start them in whatever subforum is appropriate. Then we set Affiliate Industry Insights to point here:
    industry insights - ABestWeb Affiliate Marketing Forum - Threads Tagged with industry insights

    All the threads go in the specific subforum that is the best fit as they do normally, its impossible to start threads in the Affiliate Industry Insight forum, any thread can be added to the Affiliate Industry Insights by tagging it "Industry Insights".

    Still gathers the most relevant, high impact, or interesting news discussions in one place (as chosen by the ABW community)... Eliminates any potential confusion for where things belong. Still highlights the best ABW stuff in one central location, all focussed on affiliate marketing.

    Win-Win?
    Last edited by I.M.O.G.; March 30th, 2011 at 06:17 PM.
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  12. #12
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Affiliate Insight Forum was created as an experiment to see if we could get more conversation going on the forum by posting articles to discuss. I agree that now that we started it makes more sense to post the discussions in the best fit forum. The other option is to start it in the Affiliate Insight Forum then use Kellie's suggestion (redirect). That way bigger discussions are homed but also in the target forum. I posted one in Midnight Cafe and Trust noted it didn't belong there so I moved it (I trust Trust).

  13. #13
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    We've made a few missteps launching the new forum, but we're flexible and we're listening and adjusting. I think it fills a big gap that we've had here on ABW, and I think it'll prove to be a very valuable addition.

    We get a lot of noise in the Midnight Cafe and the good threads get buried pretty quick. We've been working very hard the past few months finding ways to help the most relevant content to be more visible and easier to find.
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